April 14, 2009 FEA Europe Update1. Good News!
3. EAC Meeting
4. Local Leaders Training
5. Poem in Your Pocket
6. Teacher Appreciation Week
7. HCR Workshop
8. Retiree ID Card
9. Earth Day
10. Read Across America Awards
11. Trainers Wanted!
12. Emergency Leave
1. Good News! - It is always nice to begin an Update with good news. Hopefully by now you have seen the news about our pay raise. Salary increases are lower than in past years, mostly because of economic hardships being experienced by school districts throughout the U.S. By law, DoDDS salaries are based on compensation paid to employees in urban school districts (with populations of at least 100,000 people) throughout the United States. As of the last census, there are slightly more than 230 districts that meet that definition.
Many of those districts have frozen or cut educators' salaries in the past year due to budget tightening measures, lowering the overall average salary figures that are used to compute DoDDS pay.
Please remember, as a result of FEA legal victories, DoDDS educators will receive pay adjustments, retroactive to the start of the current school year, to pay them the difference between their salary amounts on the new 2008-2009 schedule and the 2007-2008 schedules they were being paid on until this point. Those salary adjustments will likely be paid out in mid or late May.
Attached is an Excel Spreadsheet breakdown of teaching salaries and the increase for this year, created by FEA member Michel Schadt at Kinnick HS in Japan. For more information about the salary schedules, etc. please go to www.feaonline.org
2. Transfers - As we were heading into spring break, transfer offers were coming out. Any questions about the transfer program and offers, etc. should be sent to FEA Admin/Comm. There are still some excessed teachers to be placed, so please continue to report any new vacancies in your schools.
3. EAC Meeting - Our Spring European Area Council meeting will begin with an evening meeting Wednesday and will continue through Friday. Joining your District Reps and HCR coordinator will be Michael Priser, FEA President; HT Nguyen, FEA Executive Director; BettyLou Cummins, FEA Vice President; and Trudy Pollard, NEA Director for FEA. This meeting allows your European Representatives to work together on common issues, brainstorm problems, hear from our National Representatives, and plan the direction of FEA Europe. Please forgive any delay in responses to your messages while your leaders attend this important meeting.
4. Local Leader Training - I will be offering our Local Leader Training on May 16th in the Heidelberg/Mannheim area. While we call this "Local Leader" training, it is really for any member who is interested in learning more about the Association. The times will be approximately 9 a.m. till 2 p.m. with the Association providing lunch. If you are interested in attending, please let your FRS know so they can forward that to me. Once we see where the majority of interest is, we will set the location accordingly. Watch future Updates for more information and details.
5. Poem in your Pocket - Celebrate the second national Poem In Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 30, 2009! The idea is simple: select a poem you love during National Poetry Month (April), then carry it with you to share with co-workers, family, and friends on April 30, 2009. Poems from pockets will be unfolded throughout the day with events in parks, libraries, schools, workplaces, and bookstores. For more information, go to the Poem in your Pocket page. For more ideas for Poetry Month, go to www.poets.org for materials and information.
6. Teacher Appreciation Week - Mark your calendars now. May 3-9 is National Teacher Appreciation Week. It is a great time to remember your colleagues, etc. Wednesday May 6th is set aside as National School Nurse Day. Our school nurses are a vital part of our schools, and this is an opportunity to say "thank you" to these caring school health professionals.
7. HCR Workshop in Kaiserslautern - Although the list is already full for those taking the training for credit, you can still plan to attend. If you have not registered, but plan to attend, please send a message to Terese Sarno and cc: Linda Callender. The dates are April 24, 25, 26, 2009. We need to have an approximation of how many will be there in general in order to prepare the materials. For further information, contact Terese or Linda.
8. Retiree ID Card - Civilian employees who retire from any DoD agency, including DoDEA, are eligible to receive an officially-issued Civilian Retiree ID Card once they begin to receive their retirement pay. The cards provide a trusted way of confirming the retirees' association with DoD. The cards do not, however, guarantee access to military installations and their Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) facilities. The decision on whether to allow retirees to use MWR facilities is still left up to each base commander, usually based on factors such as local demand, capacity and security concerns. If the base near you does not allow such access, you should petition the base commander directly, asking him/her to consider allowing such access.
The Civilian Retiree ID Card is issued by RAPIDS ID Card facilities. To obtain your card, you must contact your local RAPIDS facility. You can locate your nearest RAPIDS office by going to this page. When visiting the RAPIDS office, retirees seeking cards must bring two forms of ID, such as a passport and drivers license or other government-issued photo ID. Retirees must also bring proof of pay grade at retirement. A list of acceptable documents you can use for these purposes is available at www.formi9.com.
The Retiree ID cards will have to be renewed every 4 years. For more information, contact the Civilian Benefits Information Line at 703-596-6301 or at email@example.com.
9. Earth Day - Thanks to Trudy Pollard, NEA Director for FEA, for the following items:
The annual celebration of Earth Day is April 22nd this year. The following links provide information for this celebration of environmental education: The Lorax Project and Seussville.com
National Environmental Education Week (EE Week), April 12-18, is the largest organized environmental education event in the United States. A program of the National Environmental Education Foundation, EE Week promotes understanding and protection of the natural world by engaging K-12 grade students and educators in an inspired week of environmental learning and activities in advance of Earth Day (April 22).
By registering as an EE Week partner, you will enjoy access to an extensive online curricula library. You'll also receive certificates of participation, a free copy of National Geographic Explorer magazine, and a monthly e-newsletter, filled with classroom resources and opportunities for funding and professional development.
Find out more at www.eeweek.org.
10. Read Across America Awards - Also, Trudy reminds us that the Read Across America Awards Competition deadline is April 27. We had a winner last year, Delores "DeDe" Brown-Johnson of Lakenheath ES. Her RAA project " The Reading Book Cruise with Dr. Seuss" was named "Most Unique" by the NEA! Don't be afraid to blow your own horn! Check out the website to see about entering your project or celebration.
11. Trainers Wanted! (Very short suspense) Attached is a request for members who might be interested in becoming NEA trainers on a variety of topics. The application is also attached as a PDF. If you have further questions, you can contact Linda Callender, FEA Europe HCR or Wanda Betty, FEA BOD HCR - both are on Outlook.
12. Emergency Leave - John is currently on Emergency Leave in the US, due to a family illness (which is why I am sending the Update out again this week). He is checking email as often as possible, so please forgive any delay in his responses.
Thanks for all you do.
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel/Fax: 0611-44756234 or
0611-44756131 or DSN 337-6251